Garden marathon raising over £26,000 for NHS is 'best feeling' for James Campbell

By Heather DewarBBC Scotland
'I just needed to do something stupid'

Scottish javelin record holder James Campbell says completing a marathon in his back garden to raise money for the NHS was the "best feeling".

The former Commonwealth Games athlete raised over £26,000 by running 26.2 miles in the six-metre-long area.

The 32-year-old was delighted with the "incredible response".

"What better way to celebrate my birthday than running up and down my garden for five hours?" he told BBC Scotland.

"The amount of people supporting it and the positive messages from everyone, it's been an incredible response. The feeling at the end of it was probably by far the best feeling I've had.

"My mate's wife has just come back from maternity leave, today was her first shift back as a nurse. So from a personal perspective, and for everything the NHS is doing at the moment, I just hope it can make a small difference."

The five-hour sequence of shuttle runs was streamed live after he had promised to complete the task if he got more than 10,000 retweets on Twitter.

James Campbell's back garden
The garden is just under 19ft long

Campbell, who lives in Cheltenham, had his javelin career cut short at the age of 26 by shoulder injuries and has spoken out about mental health issues.

He hopes his efforts in running the back garden marathon helped give everyone a break from issues they face surrounding the coronavirus outbreak.

"This is a really difficult time for everybody," he said.

"Whether you're directly affected, someone you know is, or you can't work, it's going to take a toll on everyone.

"I'm not advising people to run up and down their garden for five hours, but it's a strange time and I hope it gave everyone a break from a lot of the bad news going around."

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